Nigeria Must Act Now To Avoid Disastrous Exemption From Paris 2024

Nigeria Must Act Now To Avoid Disastrous Exemption From Paris 2024

Ask ZiVA 728x90 Ads

November 18, (THEWILL) – Doping is one of the most serious threats to the integrity and fairness of sports. It undermines the health and well-being of athletes, the values and spirit of sportsmanship, and the trust and confidence of the public.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is the global authority that oversees the implementation and enforcement of the World Anti-Doping Code (Code), the document that harmonises anti-doping rules and regulations across all sports and countries.

On Saturday, the news broke that WADA had alleged that three National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs) and one Major Event Organization (MEO) were non-compliant with the Code, and added two other NADOs to the non-compliant “watchlist”.

Among the three NADOs that face the risk of being declared non-compliant is Nigeria, a country that has a proud history and a bright future in sports. This is a serious matter that requires urgent attention and action from the Nigerian authorities, as the consequences of non-compliance could be disastrous for the country, its athletes and their participation in the next Olympic Games.

According to WADA, the Nigerian NADO has still not addressed several critical requirements following an audit carried out by WADA in late 2022. These requirements include but are not limited to, the establishment of an independent and effective testing program, the adoption and implementation of the 2021 version of the Code, the development and delivery of education and awareness programs, and the provision of adequate resources and staff.

The Nigerian NADO was given 21 days following the date of receipt of the formal notice of non-compliance to dispute WADA’s assertion of non-compliance, as well as the proposed consequences and/or the reinstatement conditions proposed by the Agency. If the Nigerian NADO fails to do so, or if the dispute is not resolved in its favour, the decision (including the consequences) will enter into force on December 8.

The consequences of non-compliance are severe and far-reaching. The Nigerian athletes who strive to engage in clean competitions will be the most affected, as they will lose the opportunity to represent Nigeria at major events, such as the Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games, the African Games, and the World Championships. They will also face stigma and discrimination from other athletes and the public, who may question their integrity and achievements. Moreover, they will lose motivation and confidence, as they will feel that their hard work and dedication are not rewarded or recognised.

The non-compliance will also have negative impacts on the status of Nigeria as a sporting nation. It will damage its reputation and credibility, as it will show that Nigeria does not respect or uphold the universal values and rules of sports. It will also lose its influence and voice in the international sports community, as it will be isolated and excluded from the decision-making and governance processes. Furthermore, it will undermine its development and promotion of sports, as it will discourage the participation and involvement of the youth and the fans.

To avert a disastrous exemption from Paris 2024 and other sporting competitions, Nigeria must act now and cooperate with WADA and implement the necessary corrective actions. It must establish an independent and effective anti-doping system that can detect, deter, and sanction doping practices and protect the rights and interests of clean athletes.

The agencies involved must also add the education and empowerment of the country’s athletes and the general public about the values and benefits of clean sports, and the dangers and harms of doping to their responsibilities. That is how Nigeria can demonstrate its commitment and leadership in the fight against doping, and restore the trust and integrity of Nigerian sports.

Our country has a lot to offer and to gain from sports. Nigeria has produced many outstanding and inspiring athletes, who have brought glory and honour to their country and themselves. It has a huge potential and a great opportunity to develop and excel in sports, and to contribute to the social, economic, and cultural development of the country and the continent.

Nigerian sports have a passionate and loyal fan base, who support and celebrate their sports heroes and heroines. We cannot afford to lose all these because of the failure of sports governance.

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.